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Old 02-05-2020, 03:29 AM   #59
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default PBY Catalina

Assuming that Kessler has access to a Short S.25 Sandringham*, what, if anything, would be the utility of a Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina aircraft for him?

The Sandringham has a faster cruising speed than the PBY-5A and both have enough range to fly directly between the island of Dominica and Galveston. Of course, both also cruise slowly enough so that this would take forever, around 14 hours for the Sandringham and around 20 hours for the Catalina.

Are there any tasks which Kessler might need which the PBY-5A will handle better than the Sandringham?

Does the Catalina require less upkeep or can it operate with less infrastructure?

How about operating in poor weather conditions? Would the Catalina be in any way superior for that?

I understand the Sandringham is not economical for passenger service even in the 1980s, let alone the 2010s, and I very much doubt that the PBY-5A is competitive with modern airliners either. The only reason to use these ancient aircraft for transport would be because you are transporting magicians or supernatural beings/objects that either refuse to get on a proper TL7 aircraft, let alone TL8 designs, or genuinely could pose a risk if they did (because they'd reduce the Malf. of most technological devices aboard, including, in a more modern aircraft, computer chips that are necessary for the engines to function).

With that being said, if Kessler opted to own a PBY-5A Catalina instead of or in addition to a Sandringham, what should he do with it?

I can see two fun things he might do. One would be to keep it as close to the historical WWII configuration as legally possible and exhibit it at the Lone Star Flight Museum and/or as part of the Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.

The second would be to spend quite a lot of money (at least $2 million in addition to buying the plane) to replicate the feel of a Landseaire luxury Flying Yacht.

Which sounds more interesting and more likely to find the PCs aboard the aircraft at some point?

*He could buy a Sandringham 4 or Sandringham 5, according to preference, from the estate of the defunct airline Antilles Air Boats, in 1981. The price would likely be very reasonable, given that in real life, they were sold to enthusiasts that apparently had no thought of profiting from them and ended up in a museum and private collection, respectively.
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